We’ve all heard that kitchens and bathrooms are the most important rooms when you are building a house, and that’s certainly true in some ways. But most of us will spend the lion’s share of our time in the great room, also known as the family room, the living room, or the gathering room. Whatever you call it, it’s where most of the living happens—where the kids watch tv, where you sit to catch up with friends, where you snuggle in for movie night. Great rooms are perhaps the most lived in room in the whole house, so today, we’re focusing on ways that you can make your great room live up to its name.

Brighten Things Up

Adding oversized windows can create a feeling of openness. This works especially well if your great room has a vaulted ceiling. A taller ceiling means you can put in taller windows, which will draw your eye up. More windows also mean tons of natural light, and we all know how perfectly cozy it is to curl up in a pool of sunshine and blankets!

If you don’t have a vaulted ceiling, think about incorporating one into your custom home design. Vaulted ceilings add dimension to a room by drawing your eye upward. They can also make a room feel more open and spacious, which are both good things.

Focus on the Fireplace

If you’re lucky, your great room includes a fireplace. Whether it is gas or wood-burning, a fireplace is usually the focal point of the great room. Fireplaces have come a long way from plain old brick. Today, the options are nearly endless, and we love to make a bold statement with the fireplace. Here are our top three creative fireplace ideas:

  • Mix textures: One of our favorite fireplaces in a KRM home used simple oversized Carrara tile with wood details and mirrors. The wood tones added warmth and softened the modern feel, while the straight lines and mirrors added modern touches to create an overall effect that was striking!
  • Skip symmetrical: To really add drama to your room, you can add an asymmetrical fireplace. You can play with the lines and the proportions—ditch the plain square mantle for something angular and asymmetrical. This option is sure to create buzz when you have guests.
  • Try tile: We are seeing so many tile fireplaces right now, and it’s such a fun way to add personality and pizzazz to your great room. There are so many wonderful options, each adding dimension, color, and shape to your fireplace. Tile fireplaces are truly a one-of-a-kind statement piece in your home.

If you are going for more of a farmhouse feel throughout your home, a fireplace can carry this theme through into the great room. Try a wooden mantle with white brick or shiplap for the perfect modern/cozy combo. You can also add patterned tile to the mix for a little bit of extra pop while still staying true to the farmhouse aesthetic.

Another way to personalize your great room is through shelves and built ins. A fireplace works beautifully as the centerpiece to built-in cabinets, providing a visual frame plus plenty of useful storage for games, books, and movies.

When done right, great rooms are truly great—they provide a comfortable, casual place for gathering and family time. But there are so many opportunities to make your great room truly worth that title, by adding warm touches and light to make the space even more inviting.

Interested in even more home inspiration? Visit our website gallery and contact us to start the conversation!